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I love that you like it, and I experimented with a few techniques today to see if I can improve it, but they all seem to yield similar results right now. It's hard to get it to look muted and light while also well-lit. I'll keep trying over the coming months while also working on the model, and I'll post em in this thread, if I can.


Find a photo reference that is close to the kind of mood you want, and try to understand what creates it. Is it because the shadows are soft? Hard? Are things blurry in the distance fast, or do they remain sharp? Do they lose color as they are more distant, or does their color shift? If yes, towards which color (usually blue outside, grey inside). Etc. Also, you don't have to play with lighting only, you can fake lighting by drawing shadows in your textures for example.

What I'd do is take this image you have, and draw over it in some painting app to try to get the mood I want, then think how I could reproduce it with the tools I have. Again I'm not a pro by any stretch...But that's what I'd do.